8. An invitation and a wish

As the Bible portrays Him, God is very awesome indeed. He’s the one who made everything, and He is the ultimate ruler of the universe.

“I am the Lord, who makes all things, Who stretches out the heavens all alone, Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself….” (Isaiah 44:24)

“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11,12)

If God is the creator and ruler of everything there is, He is entitled to set the rules. And when God makes rules or laws, they are about love and life–all of them!

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor
as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall
not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other
commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as
yourself. Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
(Romans 13:8-10)

God’s laws are also the laws of life:

“You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by
them….” (Leviticus 18:5)

“And I know that His commandment is everlasting life….” (John 12:50)

In other words, following the laws of love is what it takes to live, like following traffic laws is
what it takes to get safely to your destination. We saw that love and life are inseparable. But
how can God or anyone command love, especially selfless love, when it’s so hard and we slip
out of it so easily? Actually, what He’s saying is, “Choose to love my way, and I’ll empower you
to do it.”

Here’s the invitation: (“Won’t you choose to love?”)

“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to
love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and
His judgments, that you may live …therefore choose life, that both you and your descendents
may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may
cling to Him, for He is your life….” (Deuteronomy 30; 15, 16, 19, 20 emphasis supplied)

Here’s the promise: (“I’ll empower you to love.”)

“And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendents, to love
the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.” (Deuteronomy

Just as physical circumcision involves a removing of flesh, so God will remove the part of us that
prevents us from loving selflessly. More about that later.

And here’s God’s longing: (“If only you’ll cooperate…”)

“Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear [respect] Me and always keep all
my commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!”
(Deuteronomy 5:29)

God’s deepest wish is to be able to give love and life to us for our happiness. He longs to do it;
but there’s that problem. Let’s look at it more closely.